Monday, February 16, 2009

Let the Oscar Countdown Begin!

Less than a week left until my favorite "live" television event of the year! The 81st annual Academy Awards telecast will take place on Sunday, February 22nd on ABC starting at 5pm Pacific. It will be hosted by Hugh Jackman this year, an odd, but interesting choice which may lead to a more serious Oscar telecast than past events where comedians and quipsters have held the helm.

In anticipation of the upcoming special, which is so highly revered by many of our Flaming Nose bloggers, it is practically a religious holiday, I have decided to post pictures from a few "classic" Oscar telecast moments. We love movies and we love celebrities, but at the end of the day this event is truly about the increasingly rare glory of live television. It's the TV equivalent of a "loose cannon" . The possibility that anything bizarre, crazy or even naughty can happen makes this special simultaneously exciting and "cringe-worthy". Who will wear a crazy dress like that one Cher sported back in the 70's? Or Bjork's glorious swan outfit! Who will say something appalling like Sally Fields, "You like me! You really, really like me!"? Who will send an emissary to pick up the statue like Marlon Brando did with Sacheen Littlefeather, who claimed to be an Apache. Turns out she wasn't any kind of Native American. I think she might have been of Italian American descent. Which actually makes more sense because Mr. Brando was winning for The Godfather!

Sometimes it's the smaller strange moments that stand out in our pantheon of Oscar favorite's. In 1986, the fabulous Geraldine Page won best actress for A Trip to Bountiful. She had a very erratic hairdo which made Lisa and I comment that it looked like the cats had been playing with her hair before she came on stage.

The Oscar's used to be a lot more clever when spontaneous weirdness prevailed. The pinnacle of Oscar wit was David Niven's response to a streaker where he noted without batting an eye that the gentleman had gone a long way to display his "shortcomings".

I have been trying to find a video of these wonderful moments to post here but every single one of them has had the embed disabled. So if you want to relive past Oscar moments, visit ABC's Oscar Time Line. There are many terrific pictures and videos on this website, as well as a "pick the winner" contest.

So ladies and gents, get your ballots filled out, make sure the bean dip and the chips are ready...we are just a mere 6 days away from that glorious annual moment when we'll hear the magic words: "May I have the envelope please"! Hooray!


Lisa said...

And yes, who would have thought that a mere 22 years later, now *I* usually look like I've had cats playing in my hair, just like Geraldine Page!

I think it's a huge mistake for ABC/The Oscars not to allow embedding, by the way. They need all the coverage and love they can get from fans. I guess they don't understand the concept of viral video or sharing.

But yes -- let the Countdown begin!

Dean Treadway said...

I agree with Lisa, but, that said, I do like the Oscars website, because their choice of videos is pretty encyclopedic (let's face it--they have the king library for such things). I'd doubt any fans have any footage of, say, Tatum O'Neal winning for 1974's PAPER MOON, but the Oscars site has it. Pretty great stuff, even if we can't embed it into our sites.

Needless to say, I'll be watching and commenting on the Oscars telecast, which looks to be one of the most creative in years. Let's just hope it doesn't turn out embarassing like that Allan Carr-produced schlockfest of 1987 (you know--the one with Rob Lowe warbling with Snow White). Or, y'know, maybe if it turns out to be an embarassment, at least make it one people won't forget (I have to admit, I'll never erase that Rob Lowe moment from my memory--sooooo horrific!)

Jane said...

I thought David Letterman's weird comedy intro: (Uma...Oprah....Uma...Oprah) was just as bad as the Rob Lowe moment and wish I could get BOTH of them out of my mind! Then there are the charming little moments like that French guy (was it for animation?) who had a spinning bowtie which he activated to demonstrate his happiness. Oh I just can't wait. It's A Number One, Top of the Heap for me!